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Time Required : 1 - 2 hrs

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Toorji Ka Jhalra, Jodhpur Overview

Constructed in 1740, Toorji Ka Jhalra, commonly called stepwell of Jodhpur, is an intricate design of stepwell, one of the few remaining structures depicting the traditional water management systems of Jodhpur. This architectural wonder was built by the queen-consort of Maharaja Abhaya Singh, a sign of the age-old tradition of the region where royal women were in charge of overseeing the public water works. The design and structure help onlookers comprehend the lifestyle of the earlier generations who had used it in its prime, with the site serving as the local watering hole for its time.

This 250-year-old structure was made using the famous rose-red sandstone found in Jodhpur. More than 200 feet in depth, it was once adorned with intricate carvings of dancing elephants, medieval lions, cow waterspouts, and niches that showed various deities. There were two levels of access and a separate tank which were meant to receive water from the wheel system powered by the bullocks. Its impressive design attracts many tourists, and is regarded as a fun place by locals and visitors to engage in harmless, recreational water games in order to beat the heat.

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History of the Stepwell

Toorji Ka Jhalra was built during the reign of Maharaja Abhai Singh Rathore. He ruled Jodhpur between 1724 and 1749. During that time, the female members of the Royal families, especially the Queens, would participate and head projects to build public water works. Maharaja Abhai Singh Rathore’s wife, the Queen of Marwar (Jodhpur) headed this project and thus Toorji Ka Jhalra was built in the 1740s and was used by the locals for centuries till the city underwent modernization and the well was completely abandoned. In order to restore this historical heritage, the debris inside the well were cleared and the waterbody was cleaned up. The place has, ever since, been recognized as a tourist attraction.

Architecture of Toorji Ka Jhalra

Toorji Ka Jhalra, like many other stepwells, was designed to accommodate the fluctuating water table. The structure is made such that it provides access to groundwater all through the year. The architecture includes a series of diverging and converging steps leading to the water table. The entire well is made up of red sandstone and runs over 200 feet deep. It has two access levels of water and a separate tank at the bottom. The stepwell originally had a Persian Wheel which was driven with the help of bullocks by making them walk in a circle over the platform on the top to draw water.

 

Toorji Ka Jhalra also has tiny chambers/ cabinets under most staircases that probably were used to keep a lantern or light a fire to aid climbing up and down during the night. The Jhalra is also adorned with sculpture of Gods, Goddesses and animals. The water spouts in the stepwell are also carved out of stone. The topmost level has a patio in the traditional Chhatri style. The two levels of the stepwell also have protruding Jharokhas and a corridor from where one can get a good top view of the well. The walls have some carvings but the structure mostly is simple yet quite elegant.   

How To Reach Toorji Ka Jhalra

Toorji ka Jhalra is located in Gulab Sagar Makrana Mohalla on Sutharo ka Bas Road in Jodhpur. From the city centre, the attraction is located about 4.5 kilometres away and can be accessed via the NH 62 – Ratanada Road route. There is another route, which is a longer road, to the stepwell that goes through NH 62 – Harish Joshi Marg (6.2 kilometre stretch from the city centre). The Jodhpur Bus Station and the Jodhpur Airport are located about 6 kilometres away from Toorji Ka Jhalra. The Railway Junction is just about 2.5 kilometres away from it. Public transport works just fine for tourists to reach the attraction. Many reach the central area of Sardar Market or Ghanta Ghar and explore the region till the stepwell on foot. But taxis or auto rickshaws can be easily hired in Jodhpur or one can also take a local bus ride.

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